Once Jeff and I arrived at the beach we began talking and didn’t stop until almost midnight. What I remember more vividly than anything is feeling so comfortable with where we were in our relationship and where I was as a person.
We talked about everything in life. What it was like growing up in our families and how we felt about everything from friends, politics to even religion… Our conversation was thoughtful and open. It felt so comfortable and right.
After 2 to 3 hours of discussing life and watching shooting stars, (we counted over 22 that night from the meteor showers) Jeff leaned over and looked at me and said… “Well Kristy, will you marry me?”.
I had not been expecting that. If you recall I had spent almost our entire dinner talking about my ex-boyfriend.
I looked at him and began to cry. I knew at that moment exactly what I wanted to say… YES!
I couldn’t believe it… I remember being so happy.
We were so excited we grabbed a bottle of champagne and rushed home to tell our family. It was almost 1 in the morning but luckily my sister Betsy and Jeff’s brother were there and still awake.
(They had been dating a few years at that point)
Betsy and Doug above
We then told them what happened and I remember Doug looking so surprised. I don’t think he ever expected that move from level headed Jeff. I remember it being one of the most amazing nights of my life.
The following day we called the family and told them we were getting married. They asked us when and that’s when we decided to throw a bunch of dates in a hat and pick one each. We have always handled everything in this sort of manner. Whether flipping a coin or rock/paper/scissors… we always make our decisions in the most fair way possible.
How our wedding date was decided…
Jeff picked August and I picked June.
So we decided on a date in June which was 10 months from that point.
When Jeff left I called him as he was driving and said that I felt as if June was soooo far away.
He just laughed and said, “When were you thinking?”
I said, “What about April?”
He said, “That’s Spring Break and Easter period. Everyone will be busy”.
I said, “What about March?…”
Jeff said, “That’s my birthday month”..
So then I said, “How about February?”
He said, “Valentine’s Day? Really?”. Ugh
So then I said, “Well no one gets married in January AND that’s my birthday month”. “What about December? I love the holidays. Why don’t we get married the week before Christmas?!”
Jeff said, “That’s just 4 months from now”
and I said, “I know… it’s perfect don’t you think?!”
So… To make a long story short…
We changed our year long engagement to 4 months in a conversation over a speaker in the car. I love that Jeff is so chill like that.
That’s after dating just 6 weeks also… Crazy I know but if you knew Jeff you would get it. ;)
We set the wedding date for the 18th of December.
Fast forward a month…
I had been planning the wedding with my mom and a wedding consultant for a few weeks. My parents said that they would give us a certain amount of money for either a down payment on a home or a large wedding.
I was 23 at the time so of course I said, “Wedding!”. What did I know?
We planned a gorgeous outdoor wedding to take place at the Four Seasons in Santa Barbara . Jeff and I invited almost 200 people for an extravagant sit down dinner and elaborate after party. The invitations were selected and mailed. That’s around the time that Jeff and I began to look for places to live after the wedding.
I had a heart attack as we looked at apartment after apartment. Everything was yucky and not nearly as nice as I had envisioned. We could only afford so much. It wasn’t long into our search that I immediately regretted my hasty elaborate wedding decision.
I always loved how sweet Jeff was with his nieces and nephew… Family is so important to us.
It must have been around the 5th apartment complex that we began to look at when I told Jeff that I was so unhappy with my decision regarding the expensive wedding. I told him I no longer wanted to go through with it because I realized where we lived was far more important than throwing an amazing party for everyone else. I remember breaking the news to my mom who never flinched.
I loved her response.
“If that’s what you really want then you had better get to writing each and every person explaining what you are doing.”
My letter to everyone invited ~
I remember my letter perfectly… It went something like this.
“Don’t panic, all is well. Jeff and I have decided to forgo our large formal wedding in lieu of buying a home. We hope you understand… please know that we love and appreciate all of you. Instead, we will be holding a small gathering of immediate family only and concentrate on putting our money towards our future.” Or something along those lines.
So many of my friends would have simply gone along with the large wedding since the invitations had gone out but I’m so glad my Mom told me to do what I wanted. We received an outpouring of love and support from everyone. Tons of wedding cards and gifts rolled in with positive words of encouragement saying how proud they were of our decision. It was great!
Fast forward to the night before our wedding…
I was at Jeff’s house and I received a phone call from my mom saying that my ex-boyfriend, Andy, was standing on her front door step looking for me.